PENDLETON — After practice on Wednesday, Pendleton coach Erik Davis said that the key for his Buckaroos to earn a win over Ridgeview on Friday was to start fast and control the clock.
Once the game kicked off, the Buckaroos did exactly that, but perhaps faster than Davis expected. Pendleton capitalized on some Ridgeview special teams miscues and moved the ball efficiently on offense to put up 20 points in the first quarter and would go on to beat the Ravens by a whopping 48-13 score at Pendleton High School on Friday night.
“Getting three TDs on the board in that first quarter, we’ll take it,” Davis said with a wide smile after the game. “It’s a great boost to get 20 on the board that early, but you sometimes worry about a letdown but our kids continued to play hard throughout.”
The Buckaroos (2-2, 1-1 Special District 1) moved the ball 55 yards on their opening drive, scoring the first points of the game on a perfect zone-read option keeper by quarterback Nick Bower who dashed into the end zone from five yards out untouched for a 7-0 Pendleton lead.
Then on Ridgeview’s first possession, Pendleton forced a three-and-out and a Ravens punt. But the snap went over the punter’s head and rolled into the end zone, where it was picked up by a Raven and then fumbled again when hit by a Buckaroo defender, this time being recovered by Willie Camp for another Pendleton touchdown.
The next Raven drive ended in a three-and-out as well, and just like the last time, a bad snap over the punter’s head rolled all the way back to Ridgeview’s five yard line, setting the Buckaroos offense up well. And Pendleton wasted no time cashing in with a five-yard touchdown run by Shawn Yeager for a 20-0 lead with 1:26 left in the first quarter.
“It feels unbelievable to just come out and play like that,” Pendleton wideout Shaw Jerome said. “We executed on a couple of their mishaps on the punts which helped us out and got the momentum going our way and then got our offense rolling.”
Pendleton put up 370 total yards of offense in the game with 228 passing and 142 rushing. Its most impressive drive of the game was the last scoring drive of the second quarter, where Pendleton started on its own six and drove 94 yards in 5 minutes, 50 seconds of game time and scored on a one-yard plunge by Yeager for a 28-7 lead.
Yeager was the team’s leading rusher with 56 yards on 12 carries. Bower threw for 212 yards on 19 of 27 passing with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions, and also ran for 25 yards on six carries. Jerome was the team’s leading receiver with 83 yards on seven catches. Pendleton had three turnovers, but did not punt the ball until the 5:06 mark of the fourth quarter.
“This came from all 11 kids tonight,” Davis said of the offense. “Nick had time to throw the football because our offensive line improved dramatically this week and hats off to those guys, they did a fantastic job of keeping Nick clean and allowing holes for our tailbacks. We talk a lot about taking what they give you, you don’t always have to look for the home run ball and good things will happen and I think we did a pretty good job of that tonight.”
Pendleton’s defense was solid again with an outstanding performance by the front seven, holding Ridgeview to a net of six rushing yards and just 37 passing yards. Six players recorded a quarterback sack in the game and four others recorded at least one tackle-for-loss. Kirk Liscom continued his strong season with numerous tackles and a sack, Greg Lee had 1½ sacks, two tackles-for-loss and a forced fumble and Aiden Patterson picked up a sack and two tackles-for-loss as well.
“We have some big guys up front and they work hard and make our defense sharp this year,” Patterson said. “Our front seven, Ridgeview tried to run up the middle a lot and we were ready for them.”
Pendleton scored three more times in the second half, on touchdown passes from Bower to Cam Sandford and Patterson and an eight-yard zone-read option keeper by backup quarterback Trent Sorey in the fourth quarter. Sorey led a drive with some second-string players for Pendleton, going 63 yards in just over two minutes to get the score. On that drive, Sorey ran twice for 17 yards, passed once for 12 yards while Liscom ran for 30 yards on two carries to set up the score.
“That was fun to see,” Jerome said. “It’s nice to see those younger guys and know you have some guys behind you to trust.”
Davis kept a smile on his face for a while after the game, knowing just how important it was for his team to not only win like they did but to notch that all important first league victory.
“It was crucial. Our last home game here on the high school field to get a pretty pronounced win is always a fantastic taste,” he said. “It’s fantastic to just get on the board in league and even ourself up, because we still control our own destiny which is always good. If we continue to do our jobs, our goal stays intact. Our kids just have to come back ready to go on Monday and we’ll see what Redmond has to offer.”
RHS 0 7 0 6 — 13
PHS 20 8 6 14 — 48
PASSING — (PHS) N. Bower 19-27, 212, 2TD, 2INT; T. Sorey 1-1, 12; W. Camp 1-2, 4. (RHS) P. Davis 4-7, 30; M. Hopper 1-2, 7.
RUSHING — (PHS) S. Yeager 12-56, 2TD; N. Bower 6-25, TD; A. Patterson 2-10; K. Liscom 2-30; T. Sorey 2-17; C. Sandford 1-0; A. Rendon 1-4. (RHS) C. Benz 13-42; M. Cupp 4-11; P. Davis 4-(-25), TD; N. Brown 3-18; P. Anderson 2-64, TD; T. Lee 2-(-13); M. Hopper 2-(-13); G. Dietz 1-(-1); Team 2-(-77).
RECEIVING — (PHS) S. Jerome 7-83; B. Davis 5-41; C. Sandford 3-54, TD; T. Stephan 3-28; W. Camp 1-14; T. Whaley 1-12; A. Patterson 1-9, TD; M. Demianew 1-4. (RHS) C. Benz 2-18; B. Olson 2-17; C. Brown 1-2.